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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

104                  MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

Barr£s (three of his novels have the collective title of Le cuke du
moi], who was himself influenced by Nietzsche. Barres is definitely
decadent in his doctrine that the full life is achieved by the stimu-
lation of the senses1: love of self, he teaches, leads to the perfec-
tion of all our faculties of sensation, by which we comprehend and
possess the universe; man is the sum of his sensations, and the
more intense these are the more complete is the man.2

3. The theory of TiLauschkunst, which is the base of expres-
sionism.

The Renaissance dramas begin already in the naturalistic period,
with Carl Bleibtreu's Der Damon (1887), of which Caesar Borgia is
the hero. Schnitzler's Der SMeier derBeatrice transfigures the hectic
loving of the cinquecento\ Rudolf Herzog's Die Condottieri (1905)
was the greatest stage success among such plays. The Tatenmensch
does his damnedest in a cycle of dramas, including a Casar Borgia,
by WILHELM WEIGAND (1862-1949), who groups them under the
title of Renaissance (1897-1909). Weigand is influenced by Gobi-
neau's dialogues La Renaissance (1877) and by Stendhal. In his
Savonarola he contrasts - as does Thomas Mann in Fioren^a -
Christian and Renaissance ideals. [Lenau's long poem Savonarola
(1837) remains the classical depiction, in spite of its Christian
morality.] Lorenzo is too much of a copy of de Musset's Loren-
%accio. Weigand is too saturated with French culture to be a true
impressionist; he strives for perfection of form, as in his verse
(Gedichte, Auswahl, 1904) and for clarity, as in his Essays (1891)
and Das Elendder Kritik (1895). His Friedrich Nietzsche (1893) was
one of the first appreciations of the master. His best-known novel,
Die Frankentaler (1889), reproduces with gentle irony the life of a
small town in his native Franconia; in the humour of his short

1  'Je veux accueillir tons les frissons de runners* [Un homme libre (1889), which
Hermann Bahr hailed as *das grosste Euch des Jahrhunderts'].

2 Nietzsche's idea of the superman may of course be interpreted, as may
Conrad Ferdinand Meyer's cult of the R*enaissancemenscby as the worship of
contraries. Arthur Moeller-Bruck (Die moderne Literatur> p. 46), though he
appreciates Nietzsche, ranks him as a decadent: 'Niet^scbes ganger Individualis-
mus ist scbliesslicb nur die Kebrseite seiner personlicben Hilflosigkeit dem Leben gegen-
iiber., .. Das Gefiibl des Allem-Seins, der Vereinsamungsteigertesich mehrundmehr
%u dem 'Bewusstsein^ ein Ausgestossener %u sein .. . Immer war Nietzsche der Kranke,
dem die eigene Schwacbe die Eefriedigung seiner Geluste verbot; wie keine andere
Personlicbkeit unserer Zeit illustriert er uns den Begriff: Dekadent? This is pretty
much Thomas Mann's picture of the artist. Dehmel, on the other hand, who
had the physical strength to do what C. F. Meyer and Nietzsche could not do
- and who escaped syphilis - was not a decadent.